Thursday, August 16, 2018

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks - Week 33

Harry C. Wilson

This time it will be a short post. Not because I have nothing to say, but because the life of Harry C. Wilson was cut short, tragically.

Harry was born on October 13, 1907 in Brownstown, Indiana. He was the first and only child of Clyde Wilson and Hattie Wilson.  He worked with his father at the family business, meat butchering. It sounds like an awful business, but someone has to do it, and this family was the butchers of the town and surrounding area up until sometime in the 1970's.

Harry died on September 13, 1924. He was 16 years and 11 months old. It was such a shock to run across the means of his death.

Here is the article announcing the tragic end:

Jackson County Banner
Brownstown, Indiana
Wednesday, September 17, 1924
Page 1


Harry Wilson, Aged 16, Fatally Shoots Himself While Returning Home From Hunt


Was Trying to Knock Apple From Tree With Shot Gun, Holding Barrel in His Hands.

Harry Wilson, aged 16, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Wilson, of Brownstown, accidentally shot himself with fatal results Saturday morning about 9:30 o'clock while on his way home from a squirrel hunt. The entire charge of a No. 12 single-barrel shot-gun took effect in the right side of his chest, and he expired in about thirty minutes.

The young man, in company with Forrest Cockerham had gone squirrel hunting early that morning, in the vicinity of the Wegan church. When they decided to leave the woods, they discovered that they had become confused in directions and came out on the Wegan and Tampico road, near the residence of George Redicker.

They started walking west down the road and stopped under a small apple tree along the fence by the roadside, about 150 yards cast of the church. Both had knocked off an apple and the one Cockerham knocked off fell inside the fence. While he was climbing through the fence to get it he heard the report of Wilson's gun, and looking up saw that Harry has shot himself and blood near his shoulder. He asked where he was shot and the boy replied, "In the side, get a doctor." Cockerham began calling for help, and started across the field toward Mr. Rediker's house, when he was Harry fall to the ground.

Rev. W. H. Dau, pastor of the Wegan Lutheran church, heard the report of the gun and heard Cockerham's calls for help, and he ran to the scene arriving there within only two or three minutes. Cockerham seeing Rev. Dau coming also turned back, and both reached the scene within less than five minutes after the shooting by which time the boy had lapsed into unconsciousness.

By this time others in the vicinity began arriving, and word was telephoned to the boy's parents and to Dr. Ackerman, who reached there about ten minutes before the lad expired. His parents also reached there a few moments afterward.

Undertaker Frank Zabel was called and removed the body to town and prepared the remains for burial.

The load of shot took effect in Wilson's right chest near the shoulder blade and ranged almost directly downward. From all indications he was trying to knock off an apple with the butt end of his gun, holding the barrel in his hands. The probabilities are that he was punching upward at the apple to loosen it, when the hammer caught on a twig of the tree, discharging the gun. The apple still on the tree, showed several bruised places and a twig near it was broken.

As soon as life was extinct, Undertaker Frank Zabel was called and removed the body to town and prepared the remains for burial. Funeral services were held at the home Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock, Rev. Bannister of the Baptist church at Seymour, officiating, followed by interment in Fairview cemetery.

Harry Wilson was a bright young student in the Brownstown high school, and would have been a Junior this year. He was a member of the basket ball squad last year and would have been on the regular team this year.

#52ancestors #genealogy

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